Stone & Webster Engineering – Boston, MA
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History of Stone & Webster Engineering
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In 1889, Massachusetts Institute of Technology students Charles Stone and Edwin Webster formed an electrical engineering consulting firm and electrical testing lab. Based out of Boston, Massachusetts, the firm was one of the first of its kind in the United States. Over time, the firm grew its portfolio of services to include construction, engineering, energy plant operation and maintenance, and environmental services. After the company’s early years involved operating streetcars across the U.S., they began to grow and diversify. The company’s first major project entailed construction of a hydroelectric power plant for the New England Paper Company. With an eye for investment and expansion opportunities, the firm took aim at the Pacific Northwest; it acquired stakes of varying sizes in a large number of utility companies, built steam and power plants, and managed large railway projects in Seattle, Tacoma, and Everett, Washington.
As a major player in the construction and engineering spaces, and with its energy and investment arms seeing overwhelming success, Stone & Webster emerged as a crucial presence in the efforts to win World War II for the Allies. The firm built several factories and production facilities for various types of weapons, a steel foundry, an electromagnetic separation plant, and laboratories to house research for the Manhattan Project. After the war, the company started building pipelines to transport natural gas across multiple states, and building America’s first nuclear power plant in Shippingport, Pennsylvania. The company shifted significant focus back to transportation projects, including railways and bridges, in addition to its energy plant management and safety services.
Over the course of its 100+ year history, Stone & Webster changed ownership hands multiple times. The firm was acquired at auction by The Shaw Group in 2000 after cash flow problems put the firm into bankruptcy. Shaw’s Energy and Chemical division was purchased by French engineering firm Technip in 2012, and the remainder of Shaw Group was bought by Chicago Bridge & Iron Company in 2013, and again by Westinghouse three years later.
Asbestos Use at Stone & Webster Engineering in Boston, MA
Unfortunately, due to the eras in which Stone & Webster operated, and the wide-ranging industries in which they operated, there is nearly no aspect of their business which was untouched by asbestos materials and possible exposure. Historically throughout the U.S., asbestos was abundant among commercial construction materials, including cement, electrical wire, plumbing pipes, tile flooring, interior and exterior structural insulation, and furnaces and boilers. The plants and factories built by Stone & Webster during their first 90 years of operation were no exception to these building practices and in their use of materials.
The sheer number of those potentially exposed to asbestos as a result of the projects undertaken by Stone & Webster is frankly massive. Because of the firm’s long history and the wide reach of its business ventures, it undertook countless, expansive construction projects both in the United States and overseas. In fact, the company is estimated to have had a hand in building the infrastructure that was responsible for about 20 percent of the nation’s power-generating capacity. This includes coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric plants throughout the country. Since asbestos and materials containing asbestos were so prevalent in construction prior to the 1980s, there were an inordinate number of opportunities for those working on these projects to have been exposed to this hazardous material. Engineers, workers in all construction-related trades, inspectors, any subsequent employees at these facilities, and all of these aforementioned workers’ family members could have potential exposure to asbestos.
Stone & Webster Engineering Mesothelioma Trust Fund & Lawsuits
The Stone & Webster Asbestos Trust was established in 2004 with approximately $6 million in initial assets (according to a 2010 study by the RAND Corporation), however both its current status and available funds are unknown.
Our Top-Rated Asbestos Attorneys Represent Stone & Webster Engineering workers
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or another asbestos-related illness due to asbestos exposure at Stone & Webster Engineering in Massachusetts, you need to speak with an experienced asbestos lawyer as soon as possible.
At Belluck & Fox, our nationally recognized mesothelioma attorneys have extensive experience fighting for families and workers exposed to asbestos. We are proud to have secured more than $1 billion in compensation for asbestos victims and their families.
We are ready to help you. Contact us today to set up a free consultation. A partner at our law firm will personally call you to talk about the details of your case and explain your legal options. Our law firm does not charge (any legal fees upfront and we do not get paid unless and until we secure compensation for you.